Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May Criticises Government's Illegal Migration Bill

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May Criticises Government’s Illegal Migration Bill

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May has criticised the government’s proposed Illegal Migration Bill, stating that victims of modern slavery will be the “collateral damage.”

During the bill’s second reading in the Commons, May warned that the proposals will not deal with illegal migration and called on the government to reconsider.

However, security minister Tom Tugendhat defended the bill, saying that it is designed to stop people from claiming asylum in the UK if they arrive through unauthorised means.

Speaking on Sky News, Tugendhat acknowledged that the issue of illegal migration is a challenge that many countries are facing, and he urged all governments to take responsibility and fight against human trafficking.

Tugendhat also addressed May’s concerns regarding modern slavery, stating that the government’s plan is to separate those enslaved people from their captors. He emphasised that stopping the exploitation of vulnerable people is the government’s top priority.

During the debate, Conservative former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland expressed his “great concern” about the prospect of detaining children and warned against the danger of “ineffective authoritarianism” from parts of the bill.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas also criticised the bill, calling it “immoral, deeply cruel and divisive,” before tearing up a copy at the end of her speech.

Despite the opposition, Home Secretary Suella Braverman argued that the legislation is necessary, stating that people arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel have “overwhelmed our asylum system.” The proposals passed their first Commons hurdle by a majority of 62, with 312 votes in favor and 250 against.

The Illegal Migration Bill is designed to make it more difficult for asylum seekers to enter the UK by penalising those who arrive through unauthorised means.

The proposed legislation includes measures such as increasing the maximum prison sentence for illegal entry to the UK from six months to four years and reducing the number of rights and protections afforded to asylum seekers.

The bill has faced criticism from human rights organisations, who argue that it will undermine the UK’s obligations under international law and harm vulnerable people.

The government has defended the bill, stating that it is necessary to deter people from making dangerous journeys to the UK and to protect the country’s borders.

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